POLITICS

Peter King: Senate Muslim Hearings Create 'Illusion' Of Civil Rights Violations

Mar 29, 2011 | Updated May 29, 2011

A few weeks after holding his own controversial hearings on the threat of the radicalization of American Muslims, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) is blasting a counter-investigation taking place in the Senate on Tuesday, organized by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

"This just perpetuates the myth that somehow Muslims are the victim of September 11," King told Fox News of Durbin's hearings, which are focused on the civil rights of American Muslims. "The best they can do is come back with these hearings by Senator Durbin, which is somehow trying to create the illusion that there's a violation of civil rights of Muslims in this country. It's absolutely untrue, and to me it makes no sense."

According to the Washington Post, advocates for Islam are using Tuesday's hearings to encourage a more active confrontation, on both a civic and a legal level, of hate speech and crimes against Muslims.

The Post also reports on the witnesses testifying at Tuesday's hearing:

[The hearing] will feature four witnesses: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (the former archbishop of Washington and an internationally-known voice on peace and justice issues), legal advocate Farhana Khera (former counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee that dealt with civil rights and religious profiling), Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez and law school dean Alex Acosta (former assistant attorney general for civil rights under George W. Bush).

Critics of King's hearings earlier this month charged that King was directing inappropriate blame at a sub-section of the American populace. Many suggested that he pair his examination of American Muslims with a broader look at terrorism and extremism in the United States.

Fox News reports that King's criticism of Durbin's hearings took a similar tone.

While critics of King's hearing questioned why he didn't examine other domestic threats like the KKK, King likewise questioned why Durbin wouldn't examine civil rights violations of other religious groups.

Check out C-SPAN online for more information and video of Tuesday's hearings.